Now this is an easy peasy, totally decadent and thoroughly pleasurable little treat to make for the Christmas festivities. Last year I shared a great little treat to make, Chocolate Christmas Pudding Truffles (you must make them, I guarantee that you’ll be loved by everyone who eats them) and this year I suggest you add to your ‘treat repertoire’ with these gorgeous babies. Chocolate covered dates stuffed with a roasted almond, yeah… you heard me… Chocolate. Covered. Dates. Stuffed. Roast. Almond. Sweeet.
I first spied these chocolate covered dates going through transit at Dubai on the way back from Australia. I bought a box and we were wowed by their simple fabulousness. And then I thought, why not make them? So I did and they are so easy you can make them directly in, say..oh.. an hour, even allowing for bowl licking and face washing! To save even more time I roast the almonds a day or so in advance when I have something cooking in the oven, I allow them to cool then I store in an airtight container. I buy the dried dates from a local middle eastern grocer because they’re cheaper (and generally fresher as turnover is higher) than the supermarket and usually the dates I buy are not stoned. However It takes mere seconds to remove the stones. As to chocolate, I buy from my local Lidl (I find they sell the best everyday chocolate at great prices) and I use a mix of 74% cocoa dark chocolate and some good quality milk chocolate.
Chocolate Dates with Roasted Almond Centre
This is hardly a recipe, more like some guidelines.
For 30 pieces
30 whole almonds (skin on or off)
125 g chocolate, mix of dark (74% cocoa) + milk chocolate
Line a baking tray with a baking sheet (or silicon sheet).
Roast the almonds (no oil) in the oven 180C for 10 – 15 mins. When they turn golden brown remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
If the dates are unstoned then you need to remove the stones. Make one slit, pull open the date, remove the stone. Now insert the roast almond, close over the date and press close.
NB. Count the stones removed and make sure they match the number of prepared dates. You don’t want someone to find out that one unstoned date slipped through resulting in a cracked tooth!
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over gently simmering water and one by one place a stuffed date in the chocolate and roll it around. Use some forks as this makes lifting the chocolatey date out easier. Place each one on the prepared baking tray leaving enough space in between so that the dates don’t slip about and touch each other.
Allow to cool so that the chocolate hardens. Place each treat in a truffle paper case or in a food safe cellophane bag. If you feel fancy-pantsy, sprinkle with edible gold dust.
Resist the urge to scoff them all!
I post this from the General Stores at Grace Town in Western Australia, sitting outside, overlooking the ocean and beach, sipping a flat white and hoping it doesn’t get too hot today. I hear from my house sitters that London is still chilly which, of course, is better for preventing melting chocolate. Wherever you are, these little chocolate dates are delightfully decadent. I’ll be making some here for after dinner munching on Christmas Day.